By Alexander Bogatik
ALMATY -- Kazakhstan's Defence Ministry hosted an Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) training course October 16-30 on neutralising conventional ammunition and explosives.
Forty-five representatives of OSCE member states took part in the exercises in Almaty and at the Otar military base in Zhambyl Province. They were meant to improve the capabilities of military specialists from Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, said a Defence Ministry statement.
Trainers from the US Humanitarian Demining Training Centre, UK, Serbia and Slovenia shared their experiences, according to the ministry.
Participants explored how to reduce risks while neutralising explosive devices and weighed other explosive ordnance disposal issues.
"Arms control and the fight against terrorism are the most important tasks for Kazakhstan," Col. Alibek Kulbayev, the head of the Arms Control and Inspections Support Centre in the Defence Ministry, told Caravanserai. "We are open to co-operating with other countries -- after all, we are talking about shared security."
The Defence Ministry and OSCE jointly organised the event, said Kulbayev.
"The US Department of State's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement funded the training course," Yevgeny Kryuchkov, a political analyst from Uralsk, told Caravanserai, speaking about the training event.
"This is one of the joint measures undertaken by the US, OSCE and our country on matters of security and of the fight against terrorism and violent extremism," he added.